and healthy independence,
and healthy assurances;
this loves a nameless dream."
bluebeard comes from a time when cocteau twins' return to london, and a time that marked the band's two-year journey of personal and professional upheavals and attempts at renewal. the album this song comes from, four-calendar café, is a documentation of this very pivotal period in the band's extensive history. the two most notable events that the album marks is the band's exit from 4ad records, and their personal trials and tribulations involving robin guthrie's drug addiction.
robin guthrie told raygun, in 1996, that "the strange thing is was that it was the upbeat songs like 'bluebeard' that were written when i was bombed. the darker shit came out when i was sober. looking back, all the songs on all our albums were written in a state of disarray. it wasnt just the drugs. i mean, my life was in a complete shambles at least a year after i quit drugs. you don't get well overnight. i've got no regrets about the past. in fact, ive got a lot of admiration for the work i did when i was off my nut."
elizabeth fraser says, of the album, that "songs like 'bluebeard' and 'theft, and wandering around lost' clearly deal with demons related to love and sex."
'bluebeard' was released in early 1994, backed with two songs plus an acoustic version of the title track, and a video was also produced. in addition, the band made their first us television appearances with robin guthrie making a very awkwar, if not antagonistic, visit with mtv's '120 minutes' (it was clear that the host had not prepared, and equally clear that robin was not interested in meaningless chatter). the whole band—including additional guitarists and drummers—appeared live on 'the tonight show', performing 'bluebeard', a performance which gave viewers an idea of what to expect from the live performances to come. a
the first time i heard elizabeth's unique voice was in the early 80's while lying on the floor of a friend's bedroom flipping through pages of star hits. i remember that it made me pause my latest search for duran duran pin-ups and ask "who is this?"; from that point i was hooked on the cocteau twins, and fascinated by elizabeth's ethereal voice. in 1992 my beautiful daughter julia was born, one of her middle names chosen after elizabeth, a favourite singer of both her father's and mine. i saw the cocteau twins play live around the time of the album this song is off of, four-calendar cafe.
i remember sitting towards the back of the wiltern theatre feeling the music swirl around jill and i, as we held hands and held our breath; we were both swept up in the sound. this song reminds me of jill's small hands, and the way she always smelled of cloves and peppermint candies. music soothed a lot of sting between us, in those moments where we let ourselves just get swept up in melody, and just be okay.
Friday, January 4, 2008
are you safe? are you my friend?